You’re busy with work, life and training. With so much going on, it’s helpful to see if your hard work is paying off. Where does your fitness stand right now and is there a way you can do things better and train smarter? A performance assessment is a great tool for cyclists (or in fact, any athlete) to gain valuable data to understand their baseline and help better guide their training. Learn more about some of the data a performance assessment will tell you and why this data matters:


VO2 Max – What is It and How Can It Help Me?


Measuring VO2 Max is one component of our performance assessment that can help provide insight into your current performance, guide your training plan to ensure you continue improving and be used to track progress VO2 Max is the measurement of what the most amount of oxygen your body can take in and use during maximal exercise. Your oxygen consumption will vary based on the intensity of exercise. VO2 Max lets us know what your upper limit is. Typically presented as ml of oxygen consumed per minute per kilogram of body weight (relative VO2) or liters of oxygen consumed per minute. VO2 Max assess the integrated function of the pulmonary (lungs), cardiovascular (heart, veins and arteries), and muscular systems (1). In other words, how well you breath in, extract oxygen from the atmosphere via the lungs, how well that oxygen is loaded into the circulator system and delivered to working muscles via the heart and arteries, and finally how well the muscles extract and use that oxygen. Considering cycling is an aerobic sport, which is highly dependent on the oxygen for energy production, VO2 Max is a large contributing factor to how well you can perform.

Performance assessment for the cycling athlete

Functional Threshold Power, What is It and Why Should I Know It?


In addition to measuring VO2 Max, our performance assessment will also determine your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). FTP being the highest power output that can be maintained for ~60 minutes without the onset of fatigue. FTP is an accurate representation of individualized anaerobic threshold, meaning you will know exactly how hard you can work before anaerobic energy systems begin contributing excessively (2). This shift is typically noticed as an intense burning sensation in the muscle, as anaerobic energy system produces metabolic by-products such as hydrogen ions leading to the burn. This will allow you to optimize your training by using percentage of FTP to create specific training zones that correlate to specific training goals, for example a work rate of 56-75% of your FTP would be an ideal training zone for developing aerobic endurance.

Our performance assessment will provide you with your HR (heart rate) at threshold, power at threshold, VO2 Max and more. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your current level of performance, and data to optimize your training. Learn more about assessments and services at Altitude: ASSESSMENTS



(1) “Measurement of VO2 Max-VO2 Peak is no longer acceptable”. David C. Poole and Andrew M. Jones. Journal of Applied Physiology (2017).

(2) “Functional Threshold Power in Cyclists: Validity of the Concept and Physiological Responses.” Borszcz, Fernando and Tramontin, Artur and Bossi, Arthur and Carminatti, Lorival and Costa, Vitor. (2018). International Journal of Sports Medicine

(3) “VO2 Primer” University of California – Davis. Health – Sports Medicine: VO2 – Rate of Oxygen Consumption

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